George Bellows: Black and White

“Though he was the most famous and most highly regarded American artist of his era, George Bellows, the intense, prolific painter of the early twentieth century, has remained as much of an enigma to his successors as to his contemporaries. Best known for his gritty impressionistic depictions of underground boxing and the lower east side of New York, Bellows was also influenced by cultural movements and theories of art as diverse as transcendentalism and surrealism.” –Joyce Carol Oates



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Volare digital capture

Volare digital capture





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About trueoutsider

I'm an artist.
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4 Responses to George Bellows: Black and White

  1. johndockus says:

    I personally appreciate where you’re coming from and don’t want to engage in argument with you. Someone like you I’d rather reach an understanding with. I don’t know if you’d believe me or not, but with me you’re preaching to the choir. You wrote “your wicked ways” to me, and I laughed. It’s totally off base. (I should let you know that I have a sense of humor.) I’m sincerely interested in the art you are, and I’m on the outside – an outsider – too. I don’t belong to the art establishment. I make art and try to express truly and deeply from my own center, which is vital and alive, intense emotion and energy of thought is involved, and I do the best I can with my modest talent, mostly self-taught, but I’d say there is a particular detachment to what I do, but to accuse me, and to categorize me, sweeping me aside, I’m prepared to fight you as if I were defending my own skin. How dare you, I will cry, who do you think you are? You make things personal, sir, very personal. You do strike me as a sermonizer and a fundamentalist in the art realm, casting aspersions and moral judgements left and right. But at the same time, you do call a spade a spade, and I appreciate that. I’m interested in truth too. You’re maybe more singularly passionate about truth in art, not a wider application and criteria. You’re definitely old school. I’m curious too about your religious faith. Seriously. I think it factors deeply into your views. Honestly, I have no quibble with that. I respect it. You’d be clarified if it was out in the open. You wear your heart on your sleeve anyway. We are living in a world where humanity generally appears to have lost its bearings and we are making the planet into one large junkyard. It’s not only in the arts. Tectonic shifts are occurring. You have a notion of the sacred within this situation. I hope you don’t mind me saying that. The churches themselves in places are being turned into dance clubs and high-end stores, and megachurches and the poison mushroom offspring of cults are taking their place. I do think old values are slowly dying out, and you cling to them and mourn their slow slipping toward extinction.

    I mourn with you, sir, but I do not share your particular anger. I look forward to the next excellent and worthy artists you feature here, and your highly articulate and intelligent presentation which honors them. I sincerely wish you the best!

  2. trueoutsider says:

    John, I wasn’t telling you to mend your wicked ways. You’re misreading what I’m saying, none of which is remotely personal unless you choose to take it personally. I’m also not mourning the slow dying of old values, etc. You’re seemingly completely confused about what I’m writing. And I can only straighten out your confusion if you talk about specifics and avoid the kind of generalizations you’re making. It’s a result of projection. This happens all the time in cyberspace.

    I find contemporary art to be just as much a pseudo-religion as the megachurches and cults you’re talking about. It’s all an aspect of a culture in terminal decline. That’s what I’m writing about. How it’s gotten into terminal decline. What the roots of it are. Where it is at present. I also throw in “old school” art to look at but it’s of little use as these are digital images, and looking at art work digitally rather than at actual paintings is symptomatic of the demise of painting.

    I’m not up for argument with you, particularly if you’re using so much vague language. I also had to edit out all the insults you sent my way. If they had any rational basis I’d refute them, but they don’t. Best.

    • johndockus says:

      Oh, I see you reintroduced my comment. Very good, sir. Thank you. I wasn’t intending to insult you. If you took it that way, I sincerely apologize. It appears each of us sort of navigates through the world of signs and symbols in different ways. It’s all good. You got a quick trigger finger and I think I’d be dead already if you and I were standing across from each other in a Saloon, and having a disagreement. For me, disagreements can be productive. Instead of a gun duel, I’d prefer to buy you a drink.

      Hey, I love the director Mike Leigh too. I agree he’s a fantastic director. I haven’t seen Mr. Turner yet, but I’d love to, and will eventually get around to it. I’ve seen Another Year, Topsy-Turvy, Grown ups, Naked, Abigail’s Party… and the last Leigh movie I watched not long ago with my Dad (he was rolling his eyes throughout and had problems with the low budget production values) is Nuts in May, which I thought was absolutely hilarious. There’s a lesson in there for pedants who want everything to go according to plan. Life is sordid and messy and quite often can’t be contained!

      I hope you have a really great evening, sir. Best back atcha’.

  3. trueoutsider says:

    John, you can just call me Bart instead of sir.
    If you’re ever in Denver I’d be more than happy to have a cup of coffee or drink. I’m not in the least The anger vitriolic writing (if people want to consider it vitriolic) is no different than what motivates the writing of somebody like Joyce Carol Oates or Tom Wolfe. I’m trying to get at the truth of not just the art world but America itself. There has never been an art world in history that has vaguely resembled this colossal fraud America has designed and developed to the point that it’s little more than a Carnival side show act connected to a Wall Street piggy bank.

    I’ve been attacked my entire life, as I’ve been saying what I say on my blog since 1972. I don’t even bother to talk to other artists about what I think as I’m simply seen as an old fool. So I’ve gone from being a young fool to an old fool. Nothing really new there.

    So my getting upset with you at all the psychoanalytic stuff was because I’ve heard it all before. Whenever those judgements were delivered in the past it was as derision and insult. I also can’t imagine that I’m upsetting anybody at all as my opinions have always been dismissed by art faculty, art students and what have you. Even now, with a contemporary art world that’s no more than a cynical nihilistic wasteland filled with psychobabble, vindicating all the predictions I made 4 decades ago, what I say carries not an ounce of weight.

    And that’s fine with me.

    MIke Leigh’s films are all great, but for me Mr. Turner is the masterpiece. Of course I started my blog writing about Turner over dozens of posts. Turner was the painter who opened my eyes to what painting is so he has a special place in my heart. I

    And I’d highly suggest you see the other films of his that you don’t mention (if you haven’t seen them) .. High Hopes, Happy Go Lucky, Vera Drake, Secrets and Lies, Life is Sweet.

    Yes. Nuts in May is hilarious. The low production values are what makes the film for me. The difficulty with Leigh’s earlier films are often the difficulty in making out the language but that’s also what draws me into them so much. He’s not making any concessions to a mass audience or lowest common denominator or focus group. And I think that level of integrity that exists in the early films have led to the majestic later work that, for me, towers over anything else around nowadays.

    I find Scorcese, Tarantino and the rest lamentable. Easier to talk about film than art as there is still human content in film. It hasn’t turned into abstract theories that revolve around a vast nothingness.

    The sublime. Rothko in his vast arrogance said when seeing the Turners in London that Turner had learned something from him. It was a joke of a sort (I hope…. unless of course he was more delusional than I already consider him to be). But it was also the most monumental arrogance to compare himself remotely to Turner. That’s the hubris at the heart of American Art that has turned it into the galloping disgrace it’s become today.


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